Around The Barrel – U.S. Crude Oil Stocks Drop for Fourth Week in a Row Despite More SPR Releases

The EIA reported Crude oil stocks fell -3.326Mbbls, the 4th weekly drop in a row. Cushing stocks fell -523Kbbl. Gasoline stocks drew -1.172Mbbl. Production rose 100kbbl to 12.1 mil b/d off the highest since March 2020. US crude stocks In SPR fell to lowest since December 1984 Another SPR release of 3.1 mm barrels putting stocks at 171.3 mm barrels below year ago levels (down 27.6% YoY). Meanwhile U.S. gross exports of crude oil and refined petroleum products last week went over 11m b/d for the first time ever.

Risk in oil prices comes from demand and supply, it used to be straight forward but with wars, sanctions and a supply chain mess it isn’t so easy. Libya is adding to the supply risk as clashes between militias spark concern the OPEC nation that has two rival governments is descending into another full-blown conflict. Iraq is also breaking into anarchy. More kindling on Russia’s President Putin threatening the world with rants over world energy and food supply as he continues his attack and bombardment of Ukraine. The headline risk around the EU phasing out Russian oil by year end overhangs.

Energy prices remain the biggest upward contributor for input inflation. In Germany in July, it was up 105.0% vs. 86.1% in June, namely the distribution of natural gas (163.8%) and electricity (125.4%). Hot geopolitical tensions with China and Russia’s Putin rattling their sabers about continues to fester. Meanwhile in the US SPR sales continues.

Cushing Storage Tanks
Cushing Storage Tanks

Big oil reported huge Q2 numbers with Aramco, $XOM, $CVX, $PSX, $SHEL, $BP, $OXY and Permian supremo $FANG all posting record or thereabouts profits. Central banks are aggressively raising rates, how will that affect demand? Oil continues to bustle on geopolitics.

The crude oil market overhead pressure comes with the threat of demand destruction with recession fears brought on by rising interest rates. In the past month, the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, ECB, Swiss National Bank, Bank of Canada, RBNZ, RBA, South Korea, Brazil and Mexico Central Banks have all raised interest rates.

Around The Barrel Contents

Click on the links below to navigate to the relevant section.

  1. DOE & API Petroleum Storage Forecast Matrix
  2. Crude Oil Quick Summary
  3. Weekly DoE US Petroleum Storage Report Breakdown
  4. API Crude Inventories
  5. Cushing Oil Stocks
  6. Crude Imports
  7. Crude Exports
  8. Gasoline
  9. Rig Watch
  10. Crude Oil Production
  11. Weather
  12. WTI Crude Oil Futures Technical Analysis
  13. DCOT Report
  14. Option Volatility and Gamma
  15. Key EIA and CME Dates

DOE Weekly Petroleum Status Report Forecast

  • via
  • Report Date 8/24/21
  • Release Time: Wednesday, August 31, 2022, at 10:30 A.M. (ET)
  • Crude EIA -3.326M Exp -690k Prior -3.282M API +0.593M
  • Cushing EIA -523K Exp +916k Prior +426K API -0.599M
  • Gasoline EIA -1.172M Exp +482k Prior -27K API -3.414M
  • Distillate EIA +112K Exp +1657k Prior -662K API -1.726M
  • Refinery Utilization -1.1% to 92.70% Exp -1.3%
  • Production +100kbbl to 12,100kbpd (13.10 ATH)

Note in bbls *exp = Reuters poll est  adjusted for API shift, except Cushing

Update: PADD 3 Refinery Utilization

US Crude Oil Quick Look

We are watching the crack spreads as we saw in the earnings reports from the majors these all tightened in the past month as this chart via @pearkes

Declining open interest in crude oil futures and options driven by commercial and non-commercial traders via @eiagov

Oil prices continue to be subject to geopolitical bifurcation dynamics with sudden changes that accompanies the onset of chaos. The unexpected knock-ons continue with imperfect bifurcation with political influence and personal vagaries from world leaders such as Putin, Scholz and Biden in addition to routine crude dynamics.

East Coast diesel and heating oil inventories at fresh 32-year low (only data since 1990). The pricing hub of New York Harbor is virtually dry as oil prices continue to fluctuate with geopolitical elements and demand headwinds such as soaring interest rates, China’s COVID lockdowns, SPR releases consequences deepening all in the price matrix.

via Giovanni Staunovo? @staunovo


The recent drop in gasoline and diesel prices at the pumps may have run its course for now with crude oil trading up and refinery margins showing signs of hitting a through

via Ole S Hansen @Ole_S_Hansen

Weekly DoE US Petroleum Storage Report Breakdown

Weekly Storage via DOE

with RonH Data ‏@Ronh and The Fundamental Angle ‏@BrynneKKelly

  Via RonH at Ron H Public Tableau Link

The Fundamental Angle with Brynne Kelly ‏@BrynneKKelly


API Crude Oil Inventories

US petroleum (Crude, SPR, oil products) inventories in million barrels (EIA)

If Washington sticks to its current pace, the reserve will shrink to a 40-year low of 358 million barrels by the end of October, when the releases are due to stop Bloomberg reported.

Cushing Oil Stocks

Cushing, OK is the hub for the most heavily traded US oil Futures contract – West Intermediate Crude – WTI so for that reason we pay special attention to the storage there.

API Cushing Stocks

API Cushing

Weekly Update via RonH Data ‏@Ronh999

Cushing OK Crude Oil Storage Stocks

Closer Look at Cushing with DigStic Data @DigStic

US Oil Import Export



US crude imports by origin in kbpd (incl w/w change)

  • Canada -741 to 3093
  • Mexico – 63 to 440
  • Saudi Arabia +83 to 330
  • Colombia +146 to 289
  • Iraq +176 to 401
  • Ecuador -47 to 231
  • Brazil +134 to 134
  • Nigeria +65 to 137
  • Trinidad and Tobago +13 to 67


At 1.782 mb/d (+355 kb/d m/m), Russian crude cargoes are increasingly heading to Asia, with loadings for India assessed at 633 kb/d (+310 kb/d) and direct exports to China at 812 kb/d (+129 kb/d) so far in April

American gross exports of crude oil and refined petroleum products last week surpassed the 11m b/d mark for the first time ever. Truly, the US has become the gas station to the world @JavierBlas

US exports of crude and refined products in mbpd (EIA) – another week above 10mbpd

US Gasoline Consumers

Input to Refineries

Snapback on implied gasoline demand. The moving 4-week average is back to 2022 high’s

US consumers bought +360.8 million gallons of gasoline per day last week. That is -41.5 mil YoY


US consumers spent $1,380.9 million dollars per day for gasoline last week. That is $+118.1 mil YoY.


US avg retail price for gasoline was $3.827 last week. That is +0.688 YoY.


US East coast diesel inventories 32 Year Lows

New York harbor, we have a problem: US East coast diesel inventories are now at the lowest **absolute** level in at least 32 years (not just seasonal), per EIA data released. The Eastern seaboard is running on diesel fumes via. Javier Blas@JavierBlas

Rig Watch

Baker Hughes Weekly North American Rigs Report

  • US Baker Hughes Rig Count 26-Aug: 765 (prev 762)
  • – Rotary Gas Rigs: 158 (prev 159)
  • – Rotary Oil Rigs: 605 (prev 601)

US Oil Rigs w/w changes by key shale basins

  • Permian +2 to 344
  • Eagle Ford unchanged at 63
  • Williston unchanged at 39
  • Cana Woodford -2 to 22
  • DJ Niobrara unchanged at 17
US oil rigs and frac spread (Baker Hughes/Primary Vision)
via @staunovo

Canada Rigs

  • Canada averaged 211 active drilling rigs this week according to data from the Canadian Association of Energy Contractors. Of those rigs, 30% are drilling for natural gas, 56% are drilling for oil, 4% for other (helium, hydrogen, geothermal, lithium, or potash), and 10% are moving.
  • Drilling activity by province is 72% in Alberta, 19% in Saskatchewan, 6% in BC, 2% in Manitoba, and 1% elsewhere. Precision Drilling holds the majority of the Canadian market share with 30%, Ensign Drilling with 24%, Savanna Drilling with 12%, Horizon with 6%, and Stampede Drilling with 5%. View a full breakdown of Western Canada’s rig activity. via Camtrader

US oil rigs and frac spread (Baker Hughes/Primary Vision)

Permian Basin Rigs

International oil rigs ex North America

International oil rigs ex North America +6 m/m to 645 in June (Baker Hughes)

  • Abu Dhabi -2
  • Kuwait, India -4
  • Saudi Arabia -6
  • Oman, Peru, Malaysia +2
  • Colombia, Mexico +3
  • Iraq +6

US Oil Production

US crude production changed benchmark May 11, 2022: Domestic crude oil production estimate incorporates a re-benchmarking that affected estimated volumes by less than 50,000 barrels per day, which is about 0.1% of this week’s estimated production total. via EIA

US Oil Field Production +100 kbpd to 12.10 mbpd (New Benchmark adj)


Weather Watch

Gulf of Mexico

WTI Crude Oil Futures Technical Analysis

via KnovaWave @KnovaWave

US Crude Oil (WTI)


Measuring oil MM recalculation higher to almost +2/8 and 161.8% Fib retest. We are in a completive mode with this impulse, it’s a question of degree on the topside, use the Murrey math 240/60 grid. From there down in 3 waves, completing a C or IV? Support wasn’t found until 0-8. Support is previous lows and Tenkan. Resistance Kijun and 50dma which it needs close above for a rally to get legs.

Weekly: WTI crude Oil futures traded over $94bbl after reversing off last Tuesdays $86.53Bbl, the lowest settle since January 25, it closed the week above the 50wma. That was after it’s measured move reversed from 7-year highs and regained them right to the top of the weekly channel with the downside open. Risk support is the grid. Long term 61.8% target fueled the spit of a spit by ABC bull flag after rebalanced Chikou sated the 5 waves. Resistance Weekly Tenkan & Kijun and Murrey Math levels and previous breaks (off monthly)

The key is crowd behavior to help tell the story which in energy is often around geopolitics. A great example of why we watch ABC corrections and from here we get the energy from the break being balanced. This move that was powered by 50 dma Tenkan spit of a spit – hence the fractal energies reverberations.

These are special times, recall “After we regained the pattern 261.8% from the extreme (-$40) move. The climax of the larger acceleration lower after broke the weekly uptrend, a fractal of the sharp and all the way to all-time lows to negative pricing we have seen mirror replications.” Above we have Murrey Math time and price

What we broke…….

Crude Oil Futures Commitment of Traders

Latest ICE and CFTC Open Interest Data:

CTFC and ICE open interest:

Money managers increased their net-length in Brent crude oil futures and options by 29,904 contracts to 154,358 in the week ending August 23

  • Long-only positions rose by 14,504
  • Short-only positions fell by 15,400
  • other reportables net-length fell by 12,724


Money managers increased their net-length in WTI crude oil futures and options by 30,028 contracts to 183,431 in the week ending August 23

  • Long-only positions rose by 5,623
  • Short-only positions fell by 24,405
  • other reportables net-length fell by 6,595


Aggregated open interest in Brent and WTI in million contracts 8 31 22

Chart: Crude net-positioning of non-commercial accounts (=managed money and other reportables) in barrels and in US dollars (Brent and WTI futures and options combined) latest value is August 9

COT on Commodities

COT on commodities covering the week to July 12 saw selling pressure from hedge fund begin to ease. The net long dropped to 900k lots, lowest since June 2020 but the 52k reduction was well below the 190k average seen during the previous four weeks.

Specs turned net buyers of crudeoil, copper and sugar with selling seen in natgas gold soybeans corn wheat and coffee. The gross position (long & short) was cut by 177k reflecting a high degree of uncertainty and vacations lowering exposures


via Ole S Hansen @Ole_S_Hansen


Understanding DCOT Reports

Read Understanding Commitments of Traders Reports – COT, TFF and DCOT  to help understand the disaggregated reports (DCOT) and how they break down the reportable open interest positions into four classifications:

1. Producer/Merchant/Processor/User 2. Swap Dealers 3. Managed Money 4. Other Reportables

Crude Oil Option Volatility Watch



NYMEX LO = Crude Oil Options First 3 Months (Live Link)


NYMEX LO & ICE North Sea Brent BRN Crude Oil Options (Live Link)



NYMEX LO NYMEX OB Options (Live Link)


Energy Earnings Highlights for Q2 2022

Key EIA and CME Dates for WTI Crude Oil

Key EIA and CME Dates For WTI Crude Oil

From The TradersCommunity US Research Desk